MARYSIA’s Insider Guide to LA

LA resident and swimwear brand founder Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves shares her insider tips on navigating the city.


is the world capital of wellness, home to green juices,
sweat lodges… and now MARYSIA founder, Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves (the
most sensible entry on this list by miles).

The former ballet dancer and surfer launched her eponymous
swimwear label in 2009 and today the brand’s scalloped-edge bikinis
have reached cult status the world over – proving particularly
popular on the beaches of Malibu and Santa Monica.

We met for lunch at Locanda Portofino (Marysia’s favourite
Italian restaurant, bar none) and spilled some of the city’s
secrets over bottarga pasta (LA isn’t all salad).

MARYSIA’s Insider Guide to LA

What day of the week should we arrive in LA?

Any day is great in LA. Insider tip: LAX airport is currently
undergoing construction work so give yourself a little extra time
on your way back to the airport to avoid delays.

What’s the best way to explore the city?

It depends on where you’re heading and what you want to see. My
only advice would be to avoid the electric scooters; I have seen a
lot of accidents on those.

Where’s the best place to wake up?

Nobu Ryokan in Malibu is the best! Get an
ocean-facing room wake to the sound of crashing waves and the song
of seagulls.

What’s the city’s dress code?

There’s a very relaxed and bohemian vibe in LA – anything goes.
Layering is key as the weather greatly fluctuates throughout the
day. It’s always chilly in the morning and after sunset, but during
the day it can get very warm.

What key pieces do you always pack when travelling?

I always pack a super-soft scarf as it can do everything. I use
it as an airplane wrap, beach blanket, sarong, evening shawl, the
list is endless… I make sure to pack items that can do double

How would you define your brand?

MARYSIA is always classic, fun and luxurious.

Do your surroundings impact your design?

Very much so. I’m often inspired by a specific place, the flora
and fauna, the beach, colours, creatures and shapes.

LA’s coolest neighbourhoods…

The west side is my home and Venice is my favourite
neighbourhood. I’m a beach person, so being in close proximity to
the ocean is great. There is so much to explore here, too – there
is amazing food and boutique shopping from Abbot Kinney to the
Boardwalk in Santa Monica, though I do I visit Beverly Hills and
Hollywood if I need a serious shopping fix or want to connect with

One misconception about LA is…

That people are superficial. There are so many incredible and
talented people living here. We have such a supportive, creative
community and incredible working moms.

The best beaches in the city…

We are a surfing family and love hitting the beaches in Malibu
and Santa Monica.

Where should we head on a Saturday morning?

A long breakfast at Gjelina then a walk along Abbot
Kinney to explore the area and shop.

Where can we do an early morning workout?

A walk, run or bike ride along the beach pathway anywhere from
Redondo Beach to Will Rogers State Beach – it is 22 miles long and
provides a stunning view.

For Sunday brunch book a table at…

Cora’s, you can’t book in advance but it’s no problem
if you get there early. Order the burrata omelette with one of its

Where should we go for a low-key lunch?

I’m in love with Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica.
It’s Caribbean cuisine at its best with outside seating and a super
chilled vibe. Get the chicken enchiladas with rice and beans and
sweet potato with fried plantain.

Other food spots we should try…

The best Italian (I like it more than the Italian in Italy – I swear!) is found at
Locanda Portofino. I can’t believe I’m telling you my
secret! Get the sea urchin or bottarga pasta. If you’re less
adventurous it makes the best penne vodka (ask for peas) and
carbonara with asparagus.

Where should we go for a big night out in LA?

I love Chateau Marmont. Stepping inside feels like
you’ve gone back in time. My husband and I go there for a late
night date when we need a little break. From there you can walk to
other places like The Standard nightclub for dancing.

Where should we head post-party?

Sunset Tower for a night cap.

Great day trips include…

Santa Barbara – drive along the Pacific Coast Highway to get
there. It’s breathtaking.

One place only locals know about is…

Brentwood Country Mart, it is my favorite place
to shop and you don’t see a lot of tourists there.

A great out-of-town option is…

San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara for a romantic
getaway, it’s such a special space – the Kennedy’s honeymooned

A book to read before we go?

Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.

What one thing should we bring back as a souvenir?

A candle from the Chateau Marmont’s retail shop; it will take
you back each time you light it.

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